by Bill McGarvey
Considerable ink and energy have been spent in the pages of countless journals on that special creature known as the “Catholic writer.” Google the term and you will be inundated with search results from Augustine and Aquinas to modern giants both departed—Flannery O’Connor and Dorothy Day—and still among us: Alice McDermott, Garry Wills and numerous others.
Reading Andrew Sullivan’s collection, Out on a Limb: Selected Writing, 1989-2021, prompted my recent Google search. I’d never heard Sullivan mentioned in those conversations about Catholic writers, so I wasn’t surprised when his name didn’t appear. But the omission prompted two questions: Why wasn’t he there? And why wasn’t I surprised? [more]